2012/L1 The Fiôván Elections and Referendum Law (Fiova)

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WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE PROVINCE AND PENDING ACTS IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
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R Pictogram discussion.png DISCUSSION Stalwart of the Four Stars, Ián Anglatzarâ Pictogram clock.png link
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This law is currently
IN FORCE

Sponsored by: Miestrâ Schivâ, UrN

Approved by:
Fiovaass.png
Pictogram per.png 3Pictogram contra.png 0Pictogram austeneu.png 1
Date: 9 June 2012/XXXIII

IT HAS BEEN AMENDED BY:
2013/L1
2014/L1
2014/L2
2014/L3
2014/L4
2014/L5
2014/L6
2014/L7
2014/L8
Read previous versions of this act

Fiôvâ Provincial Chancery

TITLE I: Responsible Officials

  1. The Secretary of State shall be responsible for carrying out the provisions of this Act.
  2. The Secretary of State may appoint other officials to assist him or her in his duties.

TITLE II: Electoral Procedure

  1. This section shall apply equally to elections for the Capitán, the Senator and to referendums.
    1. In this Act, the phrase "ballot paper" shall be taken to mean a physical ballot paper, the visual interface of an online voting system, or any other means which the Secretary of State might design under the provisions of this section. "Electors" shall signify all citizens of Fiôvâ eligible to vote.
  2. Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Secretary of State shall for each vote establish a voting system which enables all citizens willing and eligible to vote to do so. The Secretary shall not be liable for citizens being unable to vote due to unforseeable circumstances.
    1. This system may involve online voting, paper ballots, or any other method of recording votes consistent with this Act and with the Constitution. If the election is to be conducted electronically, the Secretary of State will also devise and publish a non-electronic method of voting if there are citizens who lack such access.
    2. Every method of voting used shall be anonymous, whereby each voter's identity is recorded as having voted, but it is not possible to connect any voter with any particular vote.
  3. The voting period for all elections shall be fourteen days, beginning once the ballot paper has been made available to all electors. The Secretary of State may, if in the circumstances it seems expedient to the creation of fairer elections, extend the deadline for voting.
  4. The ballot paper shall be designed as provided elsewhere in this Act. It may also contain other impartial information, including instructions on how to cast a valid vote. The Secretary of State shall not publish any information that can reasonably be seen to create an advantage for any party to the vote.
  5. The Secretary of State shall maintain a list of electors, with their electronic and postal details attached, and shall communicate the ballot paper and voting instructions to the electors in a personalised manner, such as by email, postal mail, telephone call or text message once the ballot paper is available, as well as making this information publicly available on the National Webspace. The Secretary of State shall issue two reminders in a personalised manner as above with the same information to voters, the first no later than seven days before the deadline for voting, and the second no later than three days before the deadline for voting.
  6. All vote totals and count details, except those which might undermine the secrecy of the ballot, shall be published by the Secretary of State after the election is completed, to ensure the transparency of the system. No details of votes or counts shall be published before the election is completed.
  7. All people who are or become citizens of Fiôvâ during the voting period, and are of at least fourteen years of age, are eligible to vote in any election covered by this Code.

TITLE III: Elections for the Capitán and Senator of Fiôvâ

  1. The Secretary of State shall call for nominations for Capitán of Fiôvâ whenever an election becomes due under the Constitution, or Organic Law in the case of the position of Senator.
  2. Nominations for Capitán and Senator shall be communicated to the Secretary of State, no more than seven days after the opening of nominations. The Secretary of State may, if in the circumstances it seems expedient to the creation of fairer elections, extend the deadline for nomination.
  3. Upon the day following the close of nominations for the election of the Capitán, if no nominations have been received, then the election shall be void and the Secretary shall then restart the election process at a time of his/her choosing. Otherwise, the Secretary of State shall publish the names of all candidates standing, as well as their fifty word statements. Seven days following that, s/he shall make the ballot paper available to all electors as outlined in this law.
  4. Upon the day following the close of nominations for the election of the Senator, if no nominations have been received, then the election shall be void and the Secretary shall then immediately restart the election process; if again no nominations have been received, then Fiôván Senäts’seat should be declared vacant. Otherwise, the Secretary of State shall publish the names of all candidates standing, as well as their fifty word statements. Seven days following that, s/he shall make the ballot paper available to all electors as outlined in this law.
  5. At the close of the voting period, the Secretary of State shall count the votes in accordance with Title 5 of this Act. Unless the election is void, the Secretary shall then declare the successful candidate to be Capitán of Fiôvâ, or in the case of the Senatorial election, Senator of Fiôvâ. If the election of the Senator is void according to Section § V.II.3.1, then Fiôvâ's Senäts seat should be declared vacant.
  6. If Fiôvâ's Senäts seat is vacant, the Capitán shall appoint a Senator to sit until the next General Election or the next election for the Capitán, whichever is sooner, at which time a Senatorial By-Election to serve the remainder of the term should be called following the provisions of this Act. In the case the Senatorial By-Election is conducted simultaneously with the election for the Capitán, if the nomination process of one of the two elections is delayed in accordance with the provisions of this Act, then the voting period of the other election is delayed in order to hold both simultaneously.

TITLE IV: Referendums

  1. When a matter is submitted to the electors as provided by law, the Secretary of State shall announce a referendum specifying the matter to be submitted to the electors. Seven days after this, s/he shall make the ballot paper available to all electors.
  2. Subject to s.2 of Section 2 of this Act, the ballot paper shall present the question to be decided, followed by three options of equal prominence, labelled "për", "contrâ" and "austenéu".
  3. The Secretary of State shall officially announce the result of the referendum as soon as possible after the close of the voting period. If more 'për' votes have been received than 'contrâ' votes, then the referendum shall be deemed to have passed; otherwise, it shall be deemed to have failed.

TITLE V: The Preferential Voting System for the Capitán and Senator

PART ONE. GENERAL PROVISIONS

  1. A nomination for the Capitán and Senator of Fiôvâ shall include:
    1. the candidate's full name;
    2. their party affiliation (if any); and
    3. a statement, no longer than fifty words, of the candidate’s aims and objectives.
  2. Upon the receipt of the nomination, if the nomination is in order, the Secretary of State shall confirm to the candidate that their nomination has been accepted.
  3. Upon the close of nomination, the Secretary shall publish the name of each candidate, their party affiliation (if any), and their fifty-word statement.
  4. A political party may endorse a candidate, whether or not the candidate himself states his party affiliation, by publicly acknowledging it upon their publication by the Secretary.

PART TWO. COUNTING VOTES FOR CAPITÁN AND SENATOR ELECTIONS

  1. In this Section, unless the contrary intention appears-
    1. "quota" means the number of votes sufficient to elect a candidate at an election, being the first whole number which is greater than half of the total number of votes received;
    2. "second preference recorded for a candidate" means the recording on a ballot-paper of the number "2" in the square opposite the name of a person whose name appears on the ballot paper as a candidate;
  2. The ballot paper for a Capitán and Senator election shall be prepared as follows:
    1. the names of the candidates, in the form of the candidate's surname followed by his or her initials, shall appear on the ballot paper in a random order;
    2. each ballot paper shall have an "abstain" option listed last on the ballot paper after the names of all the candidates; and
    3. a box shall appear to the left of each name and the "abstain" option in which electors will fill out their preferences.
  3. Each voter shall then place a number in the box next to the name of each candidate they wish to vote for in order of preference, with "1" being the first preference, "2" being the second preference and so on. If the elector does not wish to vote for any candidate, they shall place a number "1" in the box next to the "abstain" option, and their vote shall not be counted towards any candidate, and shall not be used in determining the quota. Any preferences expressed after the "abstain" option shall be of no effect.
    1. If more than half of the ballots indicate the "abstain" option, then the election shall be void and the Secretary shall then restart the election process at a time of his/her choosing.
  4. To determine the successful candidate, the number of first preferences recorded for each candidate shall first be counted.
  5. A candidate who has, after the first preferences have been counted, a number of such preferences equal to or greater than the quota shall be declared elected.
    1. Where after the first preferences have been counted no candidate has obtained the quota, the candidate who, at that time, has the least number of first preference votes transferred to him/her as provided by this Part, shall be excluded, and all the votes obtained by him/her shall be transferred to the candidates next in order of the electors' respective preferences.
    2. The ballot-papers obtained by an excluded candidate which indicate no further valid preferences shall be declared "exhausted", and set aside as finally dealt with.
  6. The process of excluding the candidate who has polled the next lowest number of votes at the election and transferring to other candidates his/her votes shall be repeated until the total number of exhausted votes is greater than the amount of votes required to enable all unexcluded candidates to reach a quota. The candidate with the most votes shall then be declared elected.
  7. Where at any time it becomes necessary to exclude a candidate, and 2 or more candidates having the same number of votes, have at that time, the least number of first preference votes transferred to them as provided by this Chapter, then whichever of those candidates was recorded as having the lowest number of votes at the last count or transfer at which they had an unequal number of votes shall be first excluded. If those candidates have had an equal number of votes at all preceding counts or transfers, the Secretary of State shall decide which of those candidates shall be first excluded.
  8. In determining which candidate is next in the order of an elector's preference, any candidates who have been declared elected or who have been excluded shall not be considered, and the order of the elector's preference shall be determined as if the names of those candidates had not been on the ballot-paper.
  9. Where on a transfer it is found that on any ballot-paper to be transferred there is no candidate opposite whose name a number is placed, other than a candidate whose name has already been either declared elected or excluded, those ballot-papers and their votes shall be set aside as exhausted.

TITLE VI: Challenging the result of the Election

  1. A citizen may petition the Landsdoom to challenge the validity of the election, of any vote cast or the conduction of the election if he feels that his rights under the Constitution and law of Fiôvâ have been violated. Such a petition shall be filled within thirty (30) calendar day from the ending of the election
  2. The Landsdoom may either dismiss the case, by declining to hear it, or begin hearing arguments in the matter as presented by all relevant parties.
  3. The Landsdoom shall rule on the case within twenty (20) calendar days from the reception of the petition. Should this time elapse and no decision be rendered as to whether the Landsdoom will hear the matter brought before it, an unwillingness to hear the case is implied.
    1. The Landsdoom may issue an injuction to restrain the Secretary of State to certify the result of the election until the ruling.
  4. Should the Landsdoom rule in favour of the plaintiff, it may rule either that:
    1. there be a recount of the ballots by a person or persons independent of the Office of the Secretary of State, and that the result of this recount shall be certified as the official result of the election;
    2. the final vote tally shall be adjusted to disregard an invalid vote, include a wrongly discarded vote or include a new vote;
    3. the election be declared void and a new election held under the procedures outlined in this Act.
  5. The decision of the Landsdoom may be appealed to the Uppermost Cort.